BB orders banks for quick release of import documents
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday asked banks to speedily release import-related documents such that the goods can be released from the port without further delay as the government scrambles to prevent any supply disruption during Ramadan. Banks were also asked to settle the import liabilities swiftly such that essential goods can be supplied to the market smoothly amid the ongoing lockdown. The goods that must get priority include rice, lentil, onion, salt, sugar, ginger, garlic, water, baby food, food items and all types of medical and electronic equipment. The country’s supply chain has been disrupted on a massive scale due to the ongoing shutdown to snuff out the coronavirus pandemic. Many authorised dealer branches that settle foreign exchange transactions have remained shut for the shutdown. This slowed the release of products from the Chattogram port.
Beza plans generous incentives to tempt foreign investors
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) plans to put in place a generous incentive package to perk up the country’s investment climate and attract more foreign investors to economic zones in the post-coronavirus era when companies will scope out new destinations to reduce costs. As per the Beza proposal, foreign companies that will relocate their production to Bangladesh can be allowed to import used machinery to set up their factories in the country. Industrial units that will be set up in the government economic zones within 2023 can be offered 100 per cent corporate tax exemption for 10 years. Like the export-oriented industrial units, local factories should also be entitled to bonded warehouse facility, which allows exporters to import and store their raw materials without payment of customs duties for a certain period until these are used in manufacturing export products. Like India, the Bangladesh government should also provide 50 per cent of the cost for establishing central effluent treatment plants in the economic zones, Beza said. Agro-processing industries operating outside the economic zones receive 20 per cent cash incentive irrespective of their ownership structure, but in the economic zones, only C-type industrial units that have 100 per cent local ownership enjoy 4 per cent cash incentive. As of February, Beza received investment proposals worth $20.50 billion from 151 local and foreign business entities, and of the amount, about $3 billion has already been invested in different special economic zones. About $5.78 billion will come as foreign direct investment from companies in China, South Korea, Japan, India, Singapore, the UK, Australia, Malaysia and the US. The rest $12.13 billion will be invested by 60 local companies, including TK Group, Karmo Foam Industry, Mango Teleservices, BDCOM Online, Bashundhara Group, Siraj Cycle Industries, Abdul Monem, Star Consortium and Ayesha Clothing Co.
Govt to procure 17,002 tonnes of Boro paddy in Jamalpur
The Food Department will procure 17,002 tonnes of Boro paddy from farmers in the district this year. According to the office of District Food Controller, 4,520 tonnes of paddy will be procured from farmers in Jamalpur Sadar upazila while 2.432 tonnes of paddy in Sarishabari 1,202 from Dewanganj upazila, 2,184 tonnes from Islampur, 2,738 tonnes from Melandah upazila 2,225 tonnes from Madarganj and 1,701 tonnes from Bakshiganj upazila to be bought from cultivators.
Prime Bank makes Internet Banking registration more easier
Prime Bank has made Internet Banking registration more easier for the customers. The customers now a days are increasingly using digital banking amid COVID-19 lockdown situation. The bank has made the onboarding process more easier and simpler to provide delightful online banking experience to the valued customers. The customers can avail real-time fund transfer between Prime Bank and other bank accounts, pay Prime Bank and other bank credit card bills, make DPDC, DESCO, Metlife and mobile recharge payment. They can get real-time balance enquiry, download account statement, get details of FDR & deposit scheme and loan information and many more. Commenting on launch of the service, Prime Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Rahel Ahmed said: “Prime Bank has always been in the forefront of digital banking solutions. We believe digital banking is the future of banking as the customers now want banking services from the comfort of their home on 24/7 basis.” .
Foreign funds in stocks keep falling amid bearish market
Net foreign investment in the Dhaka bourse has been on a downward trend for the last one year as the overseas investors continued to pull out their fund amid prolonged bearish market trend. The foreign investors withdrew a total of Tk 12.90 billion in the past 12 consecutive months, according to statistics from the Dhaka Stock Exchange. In line with the declining trend in 2019, net foreign funds was Tk 1.28 billion in negative and Tk 1.75 billion in January and February in 2020 respectively. The foreign investment data of March, 2020 was not available as the stock market remained closed due to coronavirus pandemic. In January 2020, the overseas investors bought shares worth Tk 2.74 billion while they sold stocks worth Tk 4.02 billion, taking the net position of Tk 1.28 billion in the negative, the DSE data showed. The net foreign fund was Tk 1.75 billion in negative in February 2020, as they sold shares worth Tk 3.67 billion against purchasing of Tk 1.92 billion. GP declared only 130 per cent cash dividend for the year 2019. In 2018, the company disbursed 280 per cent cash dividend. The share price of GP also saw 36.40 per cent fall in the past one year to close at Tk 238.80 on March 25, 2020. The GP has notable impact on index movement due to its large market capitalisation which also impacted the overall market trend. The DSE key index lost 1,522 points, wiping out market capitalisation of Tk 1,015 billion in the past 12 months since March 25, last year. Prices of other multinational companies considered as good shares to foreign investors, also suffered losses between 7.25 per cent and 62.23 per cent in last one year until March 25. In 2019, net foreign investment was Tk 4.88 billion in negative as the overseas investors bought shares worth Tk 36.78 billion while they sold stocks worth Tk 41.66 billion. .
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↑ 260.01||↑ 1.11 %|
|FTSE100||5752.23||↓ 74.38||↓ 1.28 %|
|Nikkei 225||19781.75||↑ 519.75||↑ 2.70 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 15.21||↓ 1.73||↓ 10.21 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 20.75||↓ 0.69||↓ 3.22 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1722.36||↓ 7.24||↓ 0.42 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.2972|
|GBP 1||BDT 102.940|
|EUR 1||BDT 90.1189|
|INR 1||BDT 1.09742|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<